Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wicked Impressive, I Guess

Sometimes, you just have to appreciate the weirdness of it all. On Saturday, October 17, I watched the New York Yankees take a 4-3 lead into the 9th inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox. As you all know, the Yankees had a 3-0 series lead, and the almost invincible Mariano Rivera was on the mound. To paraphrase the loony Pedro Martinez, I figured the Red Sox were about to get spanked once again by their “Daddies” and to be honest, I didn’t mind laughing at their recurring misery. Well, the Red Sox tied it up (and should have won it) in the 9th and the game went into extra innings. I lasted through the 11th, and then too tired to endure any more, I turned off the TV and went to sleep, figuring either the Yankees would win it as they usually did or even if the Red Sox won as the home team in their last at bat, there was no way to win the Series.

Well I just woke up and can you believe the dream I had?

But seriously, you’ve probably heard all you want about the Reverse of the Curse, the End of the Drought, the historic comeback, the heroic Schilling, the Foulk Hero, etc. so I won’t bother with any of that for now. Just thinking about the present day Red Sox, think about this: If they could’ve, they would’ve gotten Alex Rodriguez, who had a decent but not sensational year and whose lack of clutch hitting helped do in the Yankees. They would have gotten rid of Manny Ramirez, who won the Series MVP and may very well win the season MVP. They would have gotten Magglio Ordonez, who missed most of the season with the White Sox with injuries. They would’ve gotten rid of Nomar Garciappara before the season, got rid of him at the trading deadline to the consternation of their fans, and wound up doing much better with Orlando Cabrera, who the Cubs passed on to get Nomar. They had two ex-Cubs 3rd basemen, Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn, who every Cub fan will tell you they were happy to replace with Aramis Ramirez, but Mueller & Bellhorn had huge hits, in game 4 of the LCS and game 1 of the series respectively. Bellhorn, now the Red Sox second baseman, would likely not be favored by many over Todd Walker, last year’s Red Sox second baseman, who platooned for the Cubs this year. And they had the savior, Keith Foulke, who the White Sox dropped from the closer role, just back in 2002 and traded for Billy Koch who was coming off a 44 save season and completely sucked.

So while I never bought into the whole supernatural aspect of the Curse, Red Sox or Cubs variety, there is something about fate, and almosts & not quites, and luck, and team chemistry, and karma that I find somewhat fascinating. I still don’t care much for whiny Red Sox Nation; but hopefully we won’t have to hear them whine anymore. And the team deserved it. Cheers!

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